I'm horribly hideously unbearably depressed and it has nothing to do with my brain chemistry. I am being crushed by the weight of things I know to be true but which half this country, or more, is denying. I have a whole long rant worked up about how we're throwing away one of the noblest experiments attempted by man. But thinking about it exhausts me.
Actually, I think vulnerability to depression does have something to do with brain chemistry, even if the objective situation is also very bad.
Even so, I'm going to talk about ways to think about these matters. One that I find helps somewhat is that I'm determined not to throw away what I've got--a present with some good points in a society where the government hasn't gone after me--because of what might or might not happen.
Secondly, I'm not convinced that the US is on an inevitable slide to disaster--there are a lot of institutional possibiities for resistance, and people who are using them.
Thirdly, Bush and crew are impulsive. They aren't loyal minions of abstract evil, they're people who want power so they can do what they please without having to think about it. While they're causing a lot of damage (not to mention continuing damage started by previous administrations), they're also eroding their support rather quickly--not fast enough, but I'm not convinced they'd win an election if it were held tomorrow, and I bet their odds would be worse a year from now.
For which reason, I think paper trails are one of the most important current issues, and would appreciate any pointers to the best people/organizations/websites who are working on paper trails and whatever structure is needed to make sure that the paper trails are protected and counted.
Fourthly, we have bad examples from history that people on previous downhill slides didn't have. This is certainly no guarantee, but I think it helps.
Fifthly, I'm sorry to say this, but I believe you and I and a lot of other people need to protect ourselves from a lot of the tendencies on our own side. Ok--it's only marginally my side since I'm a liberal-flavored libertarian rather than a liberal, but I do see a lot of expecting the worst. As far as I can tell, there are people who get energized by imagining disaster, but there are also those who get miserable and possibly paralysed. The truth is that the worst doesn't necessarily happen, and I would dearly love to see a site that doesn't just say "look at how awful the Dominionists are and how the Administration has ties to them" but who also does some analysis of how likely Dominionists are to get power, including the resistance they face from more moderate conservatives. Imho, the depressive tendency on the left isn't just shown by catastrophizing, it's also the tendency to have any political problem which makes them sad reminding them of a bunch of other problems that make them sad.
Addenda: Would the US be better off with a parlimentary system so that an unpopular head of state could be recalled? Is it remotely conceivable that such a thing could happen?
I'm a liberal-flavored libertarian because I hate the way governments keep hurting people, and because while the left frequently irritates me, I find most of the right unendurable.
I was going to contrast the left habit of sadness with the right habit of anger, but the notion got more and more frayed the more I think about it. I'm not sure if the pattern was never there, or just that there's more anger on the left than there used to be.